The Gritti Palace is located right on the Grand Canal, near San Marco. The Gritti Palace comprises several separate buildings which are next to each other. From the canal you can see them as the yellow, beige, and clay facades.
The hotel is named after Doge Andrea Gritti (who ruled Venice in the 16th-century) and owned the palazzo which was actually built in 1475. The palazzo was transformed into a hotel in 1895. A recent renovation upgraded the hotel to deliver modern amenities including flooding protection.
The Gritti Palace is best accessed via the hotel’s private boat service directly to the front of the hotel’s steps. There are other water taxi services to nearby stops which are more economical if one prefers. The hotel has 82 rooms, a grand lobby area, a terrace with bars and restaurants overlooking the Grand Canal and service to match.
The Gritti Palace has its fair share of celebrity guests from Ernest Hemingway, Sir Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle, Charlie Chaplin, Princess Grace of Monaco and Frank Lloyd Wright – and I am not surprised given the grandeur of the hotel.
Notwithstanding the major renovation, the overall character of the hotel has remained largely intact with venetian artworks adorning the walls, prized antiques throughout the rooms and lobby and regal Murano glass chandeliers. The lounge areas of the lobby are amazing with furniture with woven Rubelli fabrics and there is even a large library if you ever get bored of the canal views.
The terrace is spectacular; set on the Grand Canal, with polished wood and gleaming stainless-steel accents in keeping with Venice’s nautical theme. The right of the terrace (when you are facing the Grand Canal) is the Riva Lounge, while the left side of the terrace belongs to the Restaurant Club Del Doge which is a fine dining restaurant and also the spot for breakfast for hotel guests. On either side of the terrace, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the Grand Canal and of the Santa Maria della Salute church.
If you arrive / depart by boat this is the first and last view you’ll have of the hotel.
There’s a small waiting lounge area for guests which is quite serene.
The terrace is also the spot for breakfast at the restaurant area. This was our experience one morning:
It’s a beautiful morning as the sun emerges to cast a beautiful reflective glow along the lagoon. Its rays of light paint the ancient buildings with a radiant glow. We perch ourselves on the terrace as the waft of caffeine’s awakens our senses as we slowly and sensuously nibble at the freshly baked pastries, fresh fish and lush summer fruit before our eggs and pancakes arrive. A beautiful morning breeze descends on the canal and strokes our hair as the boats begin their daily commute before our eyes. We bask in the final moments of serenity before the crowds wake up.
We have lunch on the terrace one afternoon during our stay.
We have the Wheat Linguine with Lemon, Parsley, Clams and Bottarga. It’s a beautiful mix of pasta, salinity, succulent clams and the acidity of the lemon.
The Veal Milanese Chop with some Roast Vegetables is a pure delight of crisp coating and succulent veal.
We finish with a beautiful souffle to share
The Riva Bar
We also have a pre-dinner drink one afternoon at the Riva Lounge. There are some Venetian house specialities and traditional cocktails. It’s the perfect spot to chill
The rooms reflect all that is grand and regal about Venice. The rooms are beautiful with fine antiques, artwork you’d expect to find a gallery. The original wooden floors and ceilings are quite something. The use of mirrors in the room along with a large dressing-table mirror adds to the ambience of the room. There are countless curlicues of Murano glass, Le Louis XV style chairs and the decoratively painted walls are accompanied with Rubelli fabrics.
The room has all the modern amenities such as a large screen TV, ample power sockets, a safe, closet with decent storage space. The only item missing is an iron, as they are prohibited from being in hotel rooms due to fire risk under Venetian law.
We are provided with a welcome drink and some fruits and gorgeous pink roses.
There is a mini bar for convenience, but why wouldn’t you just head down to a beautiful bar on the Grand Canal.
The bathrooms have a beautiful purple toned marble. The bathrooms have a combined tub and shower.
The marble bench tops are adorned with flowers and Murano glassware. The Acqua di Parma bath amenities are also provided which show a touch of luxury each step of the way.
We had a beautiful stay at The Gritti Palace. The hotel is definitely the place to stay in Venice; its set away from the crowds of San Marco but close enough to walk and enjoy the leisurely attractions of the city. Not lacking in any of the modern amenities but with the style and decor reflective of this ancient city, the hotel is a destination in itself. Once you’ve done exploring the city, there’s nothing better than having a cocktail on the terrace or waking up to a beautiful breakfast on the Grand Canal.
This is the view (below) as we head off to the airport from the hotel.